1 Introduction
2 Sequence of Play
3 Game Start
4 The Existence of a State
5 Collecting Income
6 Military Unit Adjustment
7 Orders in General
8 Military Orders
9 Assassination and Bodyguard
10 Rebellions
11 Bribes and Counter-Bribes
12 Famine Relief
13 Order Execution
14 Special Mapboard Features and Rules
15 Excommunication
16 Independent Units
17 Random Events
18 Gaming Discipline
19 Practical Arrangements


1 Introduction

1.1 General

These rules have been compiled for the game scenario "Balance at Risk", which is a Machiavelli variant for 10 players, assuming that there is a judge in the game, too. Nearest equivalent to these rules is to be found in the Advanced and Optional Level as described in the '80 and '83 editions. Certain features are excluded, for example special military units and money lenders. On the other hand, there are several additions: forced taxation, storm phase, operating independent units etc. Quite a few rules have also been modified, in a more or less subtle way. Non-standard features are emphasized.

It is assumed that each player knows one Machiavelli variant or another. Thus, the common, general elements of all versions are mentioned only briefly if at all, which clears the room around the really salient points.

The original rules should not be blamed for any shortcomings or errors in this compilation.


1.2 Mapboard

Examples of cities:
Fortified Fortress Unfortified Unfortified Fortified major port city of magnitude 2

Fortresses are not used in the present scenario (they are like fortified cities except that they produce no income).


1.3 Unit Counters and Markers

Army Fleet Garrison Control marker Rebellion unit Famine marker Plague marker

Armies, fleets and garrisons are called military units. Those three are the unit types. Each inland province may be occupied by one army unit. Each coastal province may be occupied by one army or one fleet unit. Each sea area may be occupied by one fleet unit, except the High Seas, which may be occupied by several fleet units. In addition to that, each fortified city may be occupied by one garrison unit, and a province may also contain one rebellion unit, even in addition to an army or a fleet unit. Provinces and sea areas are called areas. An area or a city devoid of any military unit is called unoccupied. A fortified city, which is occupied by a garrison unit, is called garrisoned.

There are committed and independent military units in the game. Committed military units belong to major powers - Florence, Venice etc. - represented by the players. Two military units belonging to the same major power, or to the same force in a military operation, are said to be friendly to each other. Otherwise they are said to be hostile to each other. Independent military units belong to independent powers, which are smallish city states or pirates.

Control markers are used to point out which major power controls the province, if the province and a city within are unoccupied, or against whom the rebellion is directed, if the province and a city within are unoccupied and in rebellion. There are control markers even for independent provinces, since they may be in rebellion, too.

There is no fixed upper limit for the number of military units of each major power in this variant.


2 Sequence of Play

The game is played in "Campaigns", each Campaign representing the passage of a season during the year: a Spring, Summer or Fall Campaign.

Each Campaign season is divided into Phases, which the judge carries out exactly in the following order. There is a Winter Effects Phase, too, but no Winter Campaign; armies - as they then were - passed the cold season in winter quarters. Winter Effects Phase is carried out between Fall and Spring Campaigns, phase B only during Spring Campaigns, phase C only during Summer Campaigns and the other phases during all Campaigns.


A Winter Effects Phase

The following random events take place between Fall and Spring Campaigns:

A.1 Storm Phase.

During winter there are storms which may afflict fleet units at sea. See Chapter 17.

A.2 Renegading Phase.

Winter has also tested the morals of the military units. They may have succumbed to enemy propaganda or the lures of local, attractive women. See Chapter 17.

A.3 Famine Phase.

Provinces struck by famine are determined, and Famine markers placed in them, unless there is an Abundance marker in the province. After that, all Abundance markers are removed from the mapboard. See Chapter 17.


B Military Unit Adjustment and Income Phase

Only in Spring Campaigns.

B.1 Income Collection Phase

The judge calculates the tax and trade income, plus any income due to peace (see Chapter 5.4) for the major powers and updates their treasuries.


B.2 Spring Negotiation Phase

The judge publishes the current game map and the incomes - but not the treasuries - of the major powers and an excommunication declaration (see Chapter 15) if one was ordered by the pope in phase E.2 during the preceding Fall Campaign Season. The treasuries are informed privately to each player.

Players may negotiate with each other.


B.3 Forced Taxation Phase

Players may collect extra tax from selected provinces. See Chapter 5.3.


B.4 Ducat exchange phase

Players may give ducats to each other. The terms of these transactions are privately agreed upon.


B.5 Military unit payment phase

Players may raise new military units. A salary must also be paid for each old unit; otherwise it is disbanded and removed from the game. The judge gathers the payments from the treasuries. Independent units maintain themselves automatically.

An excommunication order may also be given in this phase, to be in force during the phases E and F in the current Campaign Season.

Each player secretly writes down the actions in phases B.3 - B.5 and announces them to the judge by the deadline. The judge carries out these phases in order, each phase simultaneously for all players - that is, first all forced taxations, then all ducat exchanges etc. A player may not ask from the judge, whether she has received ducats from other players. The judge tells this in phase D, not earlier. The player may not send alternative lists of actions to the judge, based on different amounts of ducats she will possibly receive. However, read on:

If the player announces to expend more ducats than there is in her/his treasury, the judge carries out the actions in the announced order, up to the limit of the treasury. This may happen especially if some transactions of ducats do not take place in phase B.4.


C Plague Phase

The following is only carried out during the Summer Campaign:

Provinces struck by plague are determined, plague markers are placed in them and all military units in them are removed from the mapboard.


D Negotiation Phase

The judge publishes the game situation - map & descriptions of actions - and an excommunication declaration, if one was ordered by the pope in the preceding phase B.5 or E.2, which one was the most recent.

The judge privately informs the players about their treasuries.

Players may negotiate with each other. A hint to the newcomers: do not neglect this phase, ever!


E Order Writing Phase

Each player secretly writes the proposed orders for each of their military units and ducat expenditures, to be sent to the judge by deadline. All expenditure orders are written first, then the operation orders. They are however posted to the judge in one letter.


E.1 Expenditure Writing Phase

Players write their expenditure orders for transferring ducats to other players, attempting assassinations, hiring bodyguards, raising & pacifying rebellions, and bribing & counter-bribing. The sequence in which these are carried out is fixed, see Phase F.


E.2 Operation Writing Phase

Players write their orders for military units, also for those military units which players think they succeed in bribing into their own control. Also an excommunication order may be given in this phase, to be in force when ducats might next be transferred between the major powers after the current Campaign Season.


F Ducat Expenditure Phase

The judge takes ducats from the treasuries and executes the expenditure orders of the players. It is possible - for example - that some units change sides, due to succesful bribing.

The following sub-phases are carried out in the following sequence, each of them simultaneously for all players. The judge carries out only those orders which can be completely paid for, totally ignores the rest of the orders, and strictly adheres to the sequence between sub-phases F.1 - F.5, regardless of what the player may ordain. Within each sub-phase the judge carries out the orders in the sequence in which the player has given them.

Some controversy may arise when interpreting the orders. See the examples in Chapter 18.1.


F.1 Ducat Exchange Phase

The judge transfers ducats between players as they have ordered.


F.2 Assassination Payments Phase

The judge carries out assassination attempts and bodyguard recruitments (these act together like bribes and counter-bribes).

F.2.1 Bodyguard Recruitment Phase

The judge carries out bodyguard recruitments as ordered and paid for.

F.2.2 Assassination Phase

The judge carries out successful assassinations as ordered and paid for. The procedure is carried out in Phase G, skipping the sub-phases F.3 - F.5 for the victim of the assassination.


F.3 Rebellion Phase

F.3.1 Pacifying Rebellions

The judge pacifies existing rebellions as ordered and paid for.

F.3.2 Rísing Rebellions

The judge rises rebellions as ordered and paid for.


F.4 Bribe Phase

F.4.1 Counter-Bribing

The judge carries out all counter-bribings as ordered and paid for.

F.4.2 Bribing Committed Units

The judge carries out bribing for committed military units as ordered and paid for.

F.4.3 Bribing Independent Units

The judge carries out bribing for independent military units as ordered and paid for. It is possible to bribe even those independent units which came into being in the preceding phase F.4.2.

The bribing may also liberate a rebellion immediately.


F.5 Famine Relief Payment Phase

The judge carries out the famine relief orders.


G Assassination Phase

See Chapter 9. No other phases are carried out for the victim of a succesful assassination (save that the victim may have exchanged ducats with other players in the preceding Phase F.1). The military units of victims may get retreated in conflicts.


H Order Execution and Conflict Resolution Phase

H.1 Action Phase

The judge simultaneously carries out all default orders and all orders given to military units. This may generate conflicts between them, thus some units may have to execute a Hold order instead of the given one or even get retreated.


H.2 Retreat Phase

The judge simultaneously carries out the resulting retreats.


H.3 Conditions Checking Phase


The markers for those rebellions, which were put down or liberated in this Phase H, are removed from the mapboard.


Independent garrisons may spring up, as described in Chapter 16.


Military units and rebellion units in provinces stricken by famine or plague are removed from the mapboard. - Thus, in this game the plague rages for the whole summer, not just momentarily.


All famine and plague markers are removed from the mapboard.


The placement of control markers is updated and the conditions for winning the game or becoming eliminated from it are checked for each player. If the winning conditions were met by one or more players, the judge publishes the final results and game map.

A Swiss mortar from the 15th century

3 Game Start

This scenario "Balance at Risk" is all new.

The game starts at Phase B.1 in the beginning of Spring 1486. The starting treasuries of the Major Powers are empty. After collecting tax and trade income, possibly even with forced taxation, new military units may be raised in the ordinary way; hence the maximum number of new units for each Major Power is the number of cities in her home country. That maximum number is 4 for France, 7 for Venice and 5 for any other Major Power, including Papacy and Turkey. One of these units may be a Turkish fleet in Altomare.

However, it is possible to raise fewer new units than the maximum number allowed, in which case one "old" military unit may also be placed into any home country province (including Avignon) in the first Spring Season. This unit is handed down from previous seasons - as it were - and it is considered to occupy its place before any new units are raised (which also means that forced taxation is allowed in this province). Of course, it must be paid for, too. It may be of any type and anywhere in the home country it could legally be situated.

Controlled provinces and cities produce tax income. Each major power also has some trade income for her home country and at least one major city producing separate trade income. These major cities are capital cities, which have relevance in the victory conditions. The Emilian League has three and the kingdom of France two capital cities, other major powers have one each. Capital cities produce trade income for the major power which controls them and their provinces as part of her current home country.

Home countries are as follows, where U = unfortified city, F = fortified city, number = the class of a major city, and P = port city. Trade income is indicated like this: Papacy (1d): Rome (F2, 2d). This means that the trade income to Papacy is 2 d for Rome and 1 d for Papacy as a home country. There are also mentioned the leftover ducats in the treasuries, assuming that each major power raises the maximum number of military units and does neither tax any province by force nor exchange ducats with other major powers.

Kingdom of France (2d): Marseille (F2P, 1d), Lyons (F2, 1d), Grenoble (F), Toulon (FP), Provence. Tax income 11d, trade income 4d. Left in treasury: 3d.

The Ligurian League (1d): Genova (F3P, 3d), Ventimiglia (FP), Monferrato (F), Ajaccio (F), Bastia (FP), Asti. Tax income 13d, trade income 4d. Left in treasury: 2d.

Kingdom of Hungary (2d): Wien (F2, 2d), Ungheria (F), Styria (F), Carniola (F), Croazia (FP), Carinthia, Slavonia. Tax income 13d, trade income 4d. Left in treasury: 2d.

Duchy of Milan (1d): Milano (F3, 2d), Pavia (F), Cremona (F), Piacenza (F), Parma (F), Como, Fornova, Novara. Tax income 15d, trade income 3d. Left in treasury: 3d.

Republic of Venice (1d): Venezia (F3P, 3d), Padova (F), Verona (F), Treviso (F), Bergamo (F), Ravenna (F), Dalmatia (U), Brescia, Vicenza, Friuli, Istria. Tax income 20 d, trade income 4 d (note: the province of Venice, i.e. the island and the lagoon, produces 1 d like any province). Left in treasury: 3d.

The Emilian League, i.e. the alliance of Gonzagas, Estes and Bentivoglios (2d): Mantova (F2, 1d), Ferrara (F2P, 1d), Modena (F), Bologna (F2, 1d), Reggio (F). Tax income 13 d, trade income 5 d. Left in treasury: 3d.

Republic of Florence (1d): Firenze (F3, 4d), Arezzo (F), Pisa (FP), Pistoia (F), Volterra (F), Prato. Tax income 13 d, trade income 5 d. Left in treasury: 3d.

Papacy (1d): Roma (F2, 2d), Perugia (F2), Urbino (F), Ancona (FP), Viterbo (F), Spoleto, Tivoli. Tax income 14 d, trade income 3 d. Left in treasury: 2d.

Kingdom of Naples (1d): Napoli (F2P, 2d), Salerno (FP), Bari (FP), Otranto (FP), Pescara (F), Capua, Campobasso, Calabria. Tax income: 14 d, trade income 3d. Left in treasury: 2d.

Turkey (3d): Durazzo (F2P, 2d), Albania (U), Bosnia (U), Herzegovina (U), Serbia (U), Makedonia. Tax income 12 d, trade income 5 d. Left in treasury: 2d.

There are independent garrisons in Nizza (FP), Torino (F2), Savoy (F), Saluzzo (F), Salzburg (F), Trento (F), Trieste (F), Massa (F), Lucca (F), Piombino (FP), Siena (F), San Marino (F), Palermo (F2P), Messina (FP), Siracusa (FP), Catania (F), Sardinia (FP), Tunis (F2P), Ragusa (FP) and Malta (FP).

There are independent, unfortified cities in Piemonte, Schweiz, Tirol, Bolzano and Sfax.


4 The Existence of a State

4.1 Determining Control

A major power controls a province and any city within, if a military unit of that major power alone occupies or was the last to occupy the province, including the city. In the following, controlled means that the control has been established by the major power in question. Independent military units establish independent control in the same way.

Military units establish the control immediately. They also point out who controls the province. The control of unoccupied provinces should be marked with proper Control units. A rebellion takes the control away, but a Control unit is required to point out against whom a rebellion is directed, i.e. who gets the control back, if the rebellion is finished.

If there is a garrison unit in a fortified city and another military unit in the surrounding province, and these units are hostile to each other, then no one controls the city or the province. However the major power owning the army or fleet receives the tax income from the province, were the garrison either a committed or an independent one, and the major power owning the garrison receives the tax income from the city, but not the possible trade income (see Chapter 5). A besieged garrison and a rebelling province produce no income, however.

No one controls a rebelling province and an ungarrisoned city within. A garrisoned city is controlled by the owner of the garrison unit even if the province is rebelling (but see the victory conditions, which require the full control of provinces).

A fleet unit establish the control in a sea area. No one controls the High Seas or an unoccupied sea area.


4.2 Victory conditions

The play is winned at the end of a campaign season by controlling at least 18 cities and their provinces, including the capital city of the originally controlled home country. In case of several capital cities, the control of at least one of them is required.

Ranking factors in ties are 1. the number of controlled provinces, 2. tax and trade income which would be currently collected, 3. the existing treasury in ducats. Some ties may remain, in which case the ugliest player gets the advantage.

Players which have been eliminated from the game get the lowest rankings, based on the moment they got eliminated.


4.3 Getting eliminated

A major power whose all home country cities are controlled by other major powers at the end of a campaign season (in Phase H.3.5), is eliminated from the game, and the player, too. The control markers and treasury of the eliminated power are removed from the game. All of the units of that major power are converted into independent ones. In the (quite unlikely) case where there are two military units of the eliminated player in a conquered province, the garrison unit turns independent and the other unit gets eliminated.


4.4 Conquering a Home Country

The home country of a major power may be expanded by joining other home countries into it, that is, by establishing control in every province and city of another home country. This is checked at the end of a campaign season. If the conquering major power loses her previous home country at the same time, then the conquered home country becomes her new home country.

A conquered home country gives same advantages as the original home country when collecting tax and trade income, raising new units etc.

Although all the controlled home countries together form the current home country, the controlling major power may lose them one by one, if they are conquered by other major powers.

Soldier's hand weaponry and
satchel bag from the Renaissance era

5 Collecting Income

5.1 Tax Income

A major power receives ducats in Phase B.1 as follows:

One ducat for each controlled sea area.

One ducat for each province, which is controlled or occupied by a military unit of the major power, unless the province is in rebellion.

One ducat for each city, which is controlled or occupied by a garrison unit of that major power, unless the city is under siege. Major cities produce not one ducat but the number of ducats indicated by the red number in the city symbol.

Famine nullifies this income both in the province and in the city.

In this game, the Lagoon of Venice is considered to be part of the province of Venice, see Chapter 14.


5.2 Trade Income

Home countries and capital cities produce additional income from trade. This income (which is called variable income in standard rules) can be considered to include also custom duties, earnings from banking and insurance business, sales of indulgences, investitures etc., practiced by the ruler of that home country.

A major power receives this income for each controlled home country - that is, each of the original home countries which together make her current home country, and where she controls at least one city in each of those original home countries - and each controlled city providing this kind of income, provided that the city and its province are controlled and belong to her current home country.

Famine does not diminish this income, not even in these cities and their provinces.

Trade income produced by a city cannot be collected by just controlling the city and its province. They must be part of the current home country as well.


5.3 Forced Taxation

The major power who controls a famine-free province may choose it to be taxed by force in Phase B.3. Tax income is received for the second time from each province taxed by force. However, major cities do not produce any surplus compared to other cities, and every province taxed by force starts rebelling immediately. Since a rebelling province is not controlled, new military units may not be raised in provinces taxed by force.


5.4 The Benefits of Peace

The basic objective of the game is to conquer new provinces. Admittedly, this tends to give the game quite an aggressive flavour, even considering the frantic happenings of the quattrocento. The following rule is meant to produce a certain regulating effect to the warfaring:

Any pair of the major powers, which were at peace with each other during the Fall Season, gain an extra income of one ducat each in the next Income Phase. If they were at peace with each other also during the preceding Summer season, they gain another ducat each, and if they were at peace during all Campaign Seasons in the calendar year, they gain three ducats each.

A major power is at peace with another during a Campaign Season, if and only if

1. her controlled areas have some common border with the controlled areas of the other major power in Phase D (but see the straits), and

2. none of her military units occupy a province (with a garrisoned city) together with a military unit of the other power in Phase D,

3. the control of any province does not shift between those major powers in the phase sequence F - H.1 (Ducat Expenditure Phase - Action Phase), and

4. none of her military units execute or take part in a military operation, which is directed at an area controlled by the other major power, or get involved in a conflict against any military unit of the other major power in the Action Phase.

Example 1. There is a Milanese army in Cremona and a Venetian army in Brescia, which is rebelling against Venice. Venice and Milan have some common border between their controlled provinces. Now, the Venetian army advances into Trent and the Milanese army into Brescia. This did not commit a breach of peace between Milan and Venice, since 1. the rebelling Brescia was not controlled by Venice, and 2. the armies didn't get into conflict with each other. Not so in a situation where the Venetian army tried to advance into Trent but didn't succeed.

However, the cases described in 13.4.2 do not commit a breach of peace between friendly forces. That is, Venice and Milan remain in peace in Example 3; neither does transportation break the peace.


6 Military Unit Adjustment

6.1 Disbanding Units

A major power, who is not able or willing to pay for some of her units, may disband them, in which case they are removed from the mapboard.


6.2 Raising New Units

A major power may raise new military units into controlled, famine-free provinces, which belong into the current home country of that major power and contain a city, either fortified or unfortified. New military units may not be placed in other provinces controlled by the major power.

Only one new unit may be placed in each province. It may be placed in the province if another unit is already in the city, or in the city if another unit is already in the province, but new units may not be placed both in the city and in the province.

A garrison units may only be placed into a fortified city or fortress. An army unit may be placed into a province containing a city. A fleet unit may be placed into a province containing a port city.

According to the original rules, old military units may not be traded for new units. This however is allowed in these rules. For example, an existing garrison unit may be disbanded and a new army unit raised in the same province (which should be controlled and famine-free, as required for raising new units).


6.3 Paying for Units

The cost for each new and old unit is 3 ducats. The payment represents the salary for the whole year. No part of the salary is returned to the owner in any circumstances.

If a player does not have ducats enough in her treasury, the judge disbands units starting from the end of the list which the player has written and proceeding backwards on it.

If a player does not send any orders for military unit payment by deadline, the judge only charges the salary for existing units up to the limits of the player's treasury. The salary for garrison units is charged first, following the order defined in the Area Preference List in the Game Tables, then the salary for other military units, choosing them by the same order.


7 Orders in General

7.1 Expenditure Orders

Ducats may be spent into hiring assassins and bodyguards, rising and pacifying rebellions, bribing and counter-bribing and relieving famines. There are minimum costs for assassination, bodyguard hiring, bribing and counter-bribing. There are fixed costs for rising and pacifying a rebellion and relieving a famine.

Assassination is directed against the leader of another major power. The player behind the leader may try to prevent a suspected assassination attempt by hiring bodyguards.

A rebellion is directed into an enemy-controlled province against that enemy. An ongoing rebellion may be pacified by an expenditure. The costs of these expenditures are fixed and there is no counter-measure for them.

A bribe is directed at an enemy unit. A counter-bribe may be directed at any unit in order to fend off a suspected bribe.

Famine relief is directed into a province which is suffering from famine. This may be done preventively, too.

There are no counter-measures for plague and storm.

Ducats may also be given to other players. Ducats thus received may be spent immediately, but no monetary transactions are disclosed even to the receiver until at the end of the Campaign season (or the beginning of Phase B; see Chapter 2).

The judge does not carry out contradictory, illegal, impossible or unclear expenditure orders, but orders which are nullified by another orders - bribes vs. counter-bribes, assassinations vs.bodyguards - are carried out. This means that the ducats are spent even if the order fails for this reason.

The judge does not charge any ducats for orders which cannot be fully paid for.

A player may order any number of expenditures she can afford in a season.

The effects of expenditures could be described in full detail only by referring to the military operations. Hence, they are defined next.


7.2 Operation Orders

The starting moment of military operations is right after carrying out the expenditures. Units may have disbanded or changed sides due to bribes, and the orders given to them by their original owners are ignored - in fact, not even disclosed by the judge.

A player may give one operation order to each of her units, even to the units she tries to bribe into friendly ones.

The operating unit should always be identified in an operation order. Other participants - powers or units - should also be identified in some cases. A unit is identified by listing its type and location. The judge assumes a Hold order for a unit, if the order given to it is illegal or impossible to carry out. This means a "forced" hold which cannot put down a rebellion.


  Swiss soldiers in the 15th century
 (Braun & Scheider)

8 Military Orders

8.1 General Rules

There are six different orders: Hold, Advance, Besiege, Support, Transport and Convert (Lift Siege and Disband orders, which are in the standard game, are excluded from this variant. Lift Siege may be replaced with Hold, and the Disband order is used extremely seldom if ever).

Each order is directed at a certain area - province or sea - but this target area must be identified only in Advance and Support orders (in addition to the location of the unit, which should always be identified).

A fleet unit may carry out all orders. An army unit may carry out all orders except Transport. A garrison unit may carry out Hold, Support and Convert orders.

Units may get into conflict with each other when carrying out orders given to them. These situations are described in Chapter 13.


8.2 Hold

This order tells the unit to stay in place. This is the default order, if the given order is lacking or impossible to carry out. For the sake of unity we say that a Hold order is directed at the location of the unit.

A holding unit is able to defend itself against an equally strong attacker, even several equally strong separate attackers. Moreover, a fleet or army unit may put off a rebellion in a province by deliberately executing a Hold order there. The player must explicitly give the Hold order to the unit in order to have that effect.


8.3 Advance

This order may be given to a fleet or army unit. It tells the unit to advance into an adjacent province or sea area. The order is directed at this "target" area.

In its advance an army unit may also be transported between its starting and target locations over consecutive areas - sea areas or/and coastal provinces - if there is a fleet unit in each of those areas, and a fleet unit could legally try to advance from each of those areas into the next one in order.

Both the starting and target locations - but neither the intermediate sea areas, nor the transporting fleet units - must be noted and the unit identified. The advance succeeds, if 1) the target area is not occupied by military units, or another military unit is succesfully advancing or converting out of it at the same time, 2) no other military unit is trying to advance or convert into that target area at the same time, and 3) if the advance is carried out by transport, no transporting fleet unit is forced to retreat.

In case of several alternative routes - for example, from Tivoli to Messina via Eastern Tyrrhenian Sea, or via Gulf of Naples - the route chosen is one of those by which the advance may be carried out.

If the advance does not succeed, the advancing unit executes a hold. This is the result also if the transport cannot be carried out.

If a fleet unit advances from a coastal province into another, the coastlines of these provinces must directly be linked with each other. For example, a fleet unit may not advance from Bari to Salerno.

There are some special features on the mapboard, which are discussed separately in Chapter 14.


8.4 Besiege

This order tells an army or fleet unit to besiege a fortified city occupied by an enemy garrison unit in the province where the army or fleet unit is located. The order is directed at that province. If the siege succeeds, the garrison unit is destroyed and the city becomes controlled by the besieger.

A fleet unit may besiege only a port city.

The besieging unit counter is put under the defending garrison unit counter to show that a siege is going on. The siege succeeds, if the besieging unit succesfully executes the siege order during two consecutive campaign seasons. Otherwise the siege fails and must be started all over again.

The siege need not be started all over again if the besieging or besieged unit turns independent or gets committed to a new owner after the first besieging season.

After the first of those seasons, either an another besiege order or a hold order may be given to the besieger. The siege fails in the latter case. The besieger may not execute any other order in the second season, except when the besieged garrison has been disbanded or has become friendly by bribery, regardless of whether the bribe was given to the besieger or the besieged.


8.5 Support

This order tells the unit to direct support at a certain area which is the target of an Advance or Convert operation, or the area where a Hold, Besiege or Transport operation is to be executed. That operation is supported by this order, but neither the supported unit nor the operation should be noted in it. A Support operation cannot be supported.

By default, the support is given in favour of the owner of the supporting unit, but it may also be given in favour of another major or independent power, in which case that power should be noted. An operation may be supported by several different units and several different powers.

The support is directed at an area into which the unit could legally try to advance (without transportation) or convert in the current Campaign Season. The supporting unit does not move. It is not required that the supporting unit could itself execute the supported operation. A fleet unit may support the besiege of a non-port coastal city, for example Lucca. A besieged garrison unit may give support.

It is possible to support only orders as given. Should the supported unit fail in its operation, the resulting action - a forced Hold or a retreat - may not be supported in any way.


8.6 Transport

A fleet unit may transport an army unit through a sea area or a coastal province occupied by that fleet unit. The order is directed at the location of the fleet unit. The player, whose army is to be transported, should be noted in the order - unless the army does not belong to the same player - but neither the starting nor the target area of the transported army. It may be transported only where the fleet unit could legally try to advance.

If the transport order cannot be carried out succesfully, the army unit must stay (hold) in its starting location.


8.7 Convert

This order tells an army or fleet unit to convert itself into a garrison unit, or vice versa. The conversion may take place only in a province with a fortified city, which should also be a port city, if the conversion is ordered between a garrison unit and a fleet unit. In a succesful conversion the resulting unit is placed into a place it may legally occupy in the province.

A military unit may advance into a province where another military unit is succesfully converting into a garrison unit at the same time. A garrison unit may convert into a province, if a military unit is succesfully advancing out of it.


9 Assassination and Bodyguard

An assassination order is directed against the leader of another major power. The victim - anticipating the attempt - may try to evade the assassination by hiring a bodyguard. It is also possible to hire a bodyguard for another leader.

There is a minimum price of 24 ducats for an assassination, and a minimum price of 3 ducats for a bodyguard. It is possible to pay more in increments of 3 ducats. The assassination succeeds, if the price paid for it is at least 24 ducats higher than the price paid for the bodyguard. The prices paid are in effect only for the current Campaign Season.

The player who represented an assassinated victim stays in the game as the successor of the victim, but rebellions arise in all of her conquered provinces (i.e. which are not part of her current home country). It is worth emphasizing that these rebellions support an enemy unit even in the Campaign Season in which the assassination took place. Moreover, all of the units of the victim automatically execute a Hold order for that season. This is a "forced" hold which replaces even a deliberate hold. These holding units may be supported by the units of other Major Powers, but they cannot put down any rebellions in that season (especially those which were put forth by the assassination). Afterwards they may be normally operated.

Several assassination attempts may be directed against the same leader at the same time. The highest-paid (or one of them) is carried out, but every attempt is charged for. The same applies to several bodyguards, which are hired for a single leader at the same time.


10 Rebellions

10.1 Starting a Rebellion

Ducats may be expended to start a rebellion in an enemy-controlled, even in an enemy-occupied province. The rebellion is directed against that enemy, the "victim", which is the owner of the military unit in the province, or the owner of a garrison, if there is one in the city of that province, which is unoccupied in this latter case. The rebellion may also be directed against an independent unit.

A rebellion may neither be started in a sea area nor in Venice (the Venetians were very loyal to their republic). There are no other regional prerequisites for starting a rebellion, for example, based on the location of military units, as is the case in bribery.

The cost for starting a rebellion is 12 ducats for a controlled province belonging to the current home country of the victim, 9 ducats for a conquered province, and 3 ducats for a province controlled by an independent military unit. The province should be noted in the expenditure order. The judge ignores anything which is said about the victim, because the victim is unambiguous.

Only one rebellion is possible in a province at a time. Only one will rise, even if several players are starting a rebellion in a province at the same time. All attempts to start a rebellion are however charged for. There is no counter-expenditure for fending off an anticipated rebellion.

When a rebellion is started, a rebellion unit is placed into the province. Then the province is said to be in rebellion or rebelling, and so is a city in the province, except when there was a garrison unit in the city at the outset of the rebellion. In this last case the city does not start rebelling even if the garrison unit later leaves the city or is eliminated (a control marker may be put into the city).

The rebellion unit never moves, nor may be ordered to operate. It may stay in the province indefinitely, pointing that the rebellion goes on and on. Also there should be at least a control marker in the province to point out the victim, although nobody controls a rebelling province. The control marker also points out who gets the control back when the rebellion is finished. The different ways to finish a rebellion are described in Chapter 10.3.


10.2 Effects of Rebellions

No one controls a rebelling province or a city. A garrisoned city in a rebelling province is controlled by the owner of the garrison. An independent garrison springs up in a fortified, rebelling city at the end of the Campaign Season (in Phase H.3.2).

Tax income - ordinary or forced - cannot be collected from a rebelling province or city. A controlled city provides ordinary tax income, but no trade income, if the province is rebelling.

New military units may not be raised into a rebelling province or city.

Any player other than the victim may use a rebellion unit for supporting an advance or conversion into the rebelling province (a retreat is not a normal movement and may not be supported even by a rebellion unit). For this supporting purpose only, a rebellion unit has the strength of a military unit. This support is automatically given to the one and only strongest attacker. If units of several equal forces not belonging to the victim are trying to advance or convert into the rebelling province at the same time, none of them gets that support.

An army or fleet unit of the victim may neither give support while occupying a rebelling province nor retreat into a rebelling province or city, nor convert into a rebelling city. Rebellion has no other effect on any military operation. (The victim is determined at the beginning of the Action Phase.)


10.3 Stopping a Rebellion

A rebellion comes to an end and the rebellion unit is removed from the mapboard, if the rebellion is pacified, liberated or put down or if the victim is eliminated from the game. Famine and plague stop the rebellion, too.

An expenditure order may be given to pacify an ongoing rebellion. This order may be directed at any rebelling province, and it cannot be cancelled off by any other order. The cost is 6 ducats. Normally this order is given by the victim; if several players give it for a certain province at the same time, the rebellion is pacified and each pacifying order is charged for. When this order is carried out, the rebellion calms down immediately and the rebellion marker in the province is removed from the mapboard.

An army or fleet unit of the victim may put down the rebellion by succesfully and deliberately executing one given Hold order in that province. This puts down the rebellion in a rebelling, fortified city, too. Note: in this last case, the military unit of the victim has to be in the province already at the outset of the rebellion, in order to prevent an independent garrison from coming into being.

A garrison unit cannot put down a rebellion, it must first convert into the rebelling province to do so.

The rebellion is liberated, if a military unit not belonging to the victim advances or retreats into the rebelling province, or if a military unit in the rebelling province changes its owner by bribery. The liberation takes place in Phase H.3 or F.4, respectively.

Example 2 There are Milanese armies in Milan, Cremona and Bergamo, and a Venetian army in Brescia. The duke of Milan gets assassinated. All Milanese units are in Hold and rebellions arise in the conquered provinces of Bergamo and Trent. The Venetian player orders the army in Brescia to advance into Bergamo. This advance succeeds, since the rebellion gives support. Moreover, the Milanese army in Begramo is destroyed, since it cannot retreat anywhere: the city is in rebellion, too. Retreats take place in Phase H.2 and it is only in Phase H.3.1 when rebellions liberated in this way calm down (the standard rules would treat this case quite differently).


11 Bribes and Counter-Bribes

11.1 General Rules

A bribe is an expenditure, which is directed at an enemy unit. There are different bribe types and separate minimum prices for each of them. A succesful bribe cancels any military order originally given to the bribed unit. If the owner of the unit changes, the new owner may give another military order for the unit already in the same season. The judge does not disclose the original order.

A player may direct bribes only at units which are in her current home country, or directly adjacent to one of that player's military units, or directly adjacent to a unit of a third player, but in the last case only with the permission of that third player. Granting this permission is an order and should be announced to the judge with other orders. If the permission is not granted in this way, the bribe fails but is however charged for. The given permission may be more or less specific (but not unclear, of course). For example, "I allow Florence to bribe the Milanese army in Lucca" or "all Major Powers are permitted to bribe any Venetian military units directly adjacent to my own units" are proper permissions.

In order to be "directly adjacent" the units must be situated in the same area or in the neighbouring areas. See also the straits. For example, a garrison unit and an army unit in Treviso are in the same area and directly adjacent to each other, but also to other military units - even garrisons - in Padua, Vicenza, Friuli, Venice and Upper Adriatic, regardless of any rebellions, sieges etc. in those areas.

Fleet units in the High Seas are not considered adjacent to any other military units, not even each other.

A counter-bribe is directed at any military unit - committed or independent, adjacent or distant - to nullify the suspected bribing of that unit, and it is effective against any type of bribes. The minimum price of a counter-bribe is 3 ducats. This counter-bribe may also be given to prevent the unit from renegading (this is allowed only for the consistency of the rules).

The payment for a bribe or a counter-bribe may exceed the minimum price in units of three ducats. The bribing succeeds, if the exceeding portion of the bribe is not smaller than the highest counter-bribe paid to the same military unit (or one of the highest counter-bribes).

If several bribes are directed at the same committed or independent military unit at the same time, only the largest bribe is checked against possibly counter-bribes; the others automatically fail. If there is a tie between bribes, only the one with the lowest minimum price is checked and the others fail. If there is a tie between several bribes of the same type, all of them fail unless they are bribes to disband a military unit or convert a committed military unit to an independent one, in which cases the bribes come into effect and they are all expended.

All payments for bribes and counter-bribes are expended, regardless of which bribes succeed and which fail, for a reason or another, except when the ordered bribe cannot be fully paid for. See example 8.

If a committed military unit turns independent in phase F.4.1, that independent unit may be bribed in the ensuing phase F.4.2, possibly even by another player (who has anticipated what would happen).

Both the military unit, its owner and its location must be identified in bribing and counter-bribing. Of course, the type of the bribe should also be announced in bribing. The different types and respective minimum prices in ducats, given in parentheses, are listed below. The minimum price is doubled, if the unit to be bribed is a committed or an independent garrison unit occupying a major city.


11.2 Bribes directed at Independent Units

Operate an independent unit (3 ducats): an independent fleet unit may be ordered to execute a Support, Transport or Hold order, an independent army unit a Support or Hold order and an independent, non-besieged garrison unit a Hold order by this bribe. If the bribe fails, the judge does not disclose the associated order.

Disband an independent unit (6 d): the unit is removed from the mapboard.

Buy an independent unit (9 d): the unit is converted into one of the units of the briber. The unit type remains the same.

Pay for the permission to bribe an enemy unit which is directly adjacent to the independent unit (3 d).


11.3 Bribes directed at Committed Units

These bribes are directed at the units of other major powers:

Convert a committed unit of any type into an independent one (9 ducats). The unit type does not change.

Disband a committed unit (12 d).

Buy a committed unit (18 d). The unit type does not change.


12 Famine Relief

This order is given to end the effects of famine in a province. The name of the province must also be noted. The cost of this order is 3 ducats. When this order is carried out - which always succeeds - the Famine marker in that one province is removed from the mapboard.

A famine relied order for a specified province may also be given preventively in the preceding Fall campaign. The cost is 1 ducat and will not be refunded even if a famine would not occur in that province. Also this order will always succeed, and when it is carried out, an Abundance marker (a happy pig) is placed into the province.


13 Order Execution

13.1 Conflict, Attack and Force

Conflicts occur and must be resolved, whenever military units try to execute orders that would cause more than one unit occupy a single province or sea area, at the end of the Action Phase. In conflict there is always at least one attack involved - an advance or a conversion into a province - and the strongest force wins. Each unit is equally strong by itself; the force means the total strength of a unit and its supporters in the area where the operation order of the supported unit is directed at. Force, attacker or defender are concepts which are identified with the supported unit in the following paragraphs, if there is no threat of a misunderstanding.

It is worth emphasizing that a supporting unit may not be supported.

Computing the strength of a force is not necessarily a straigthforward matter, because the supporting units may be attacked by other forces, which cut off the support. Exceptionally, the support is not cut off, if the attack is coming from the area to which the support was directed. The support may also be given if the attacker, which otherwise would cut off the support, is itself attacked and forced to retreat.

However, if a supporting unit is attacked by a stronger force from any area, the unit must retreat, not being able to give support (but see 13.3 about the "standoff" situation).


13.2 Conflicts Between Unequal Forces

If the attacker is stronger than the defender and other possible attackers, it may carry out its attack. The other attackers remain in place - unless, of course, attacked by other, stronger forces - and the defender must retreat. Especially if two unequal forces try to swap their locations, the stronger force wins and the weaker must retreat. There is one exception to this: if the swapping would take place via different routes (in which case at least one of the attackers is transported), it may be carried out.


13.3 Conflicts Between Equal Forces

If the conflicting forces are equally strong, all of them remain in place. The following cases describe the different types of conflicts between equally strong forces:

If a force is ordered to attack against an equal force, the attack fails, and so does an equal attack against this attacker.

If a force is ordered to attack into place already occupied by an equal force with orders to hold, besiege or transport, the occupying force may carry out its orders.

If a force is ordered to attack into a place already occupied by a military unit of another, equal force with orders to support, the occupying unit may not carry out its support order, unless - as already described in 13.1 - the attack came from the area to which the support was directed.

If two or more equally strong forces are ordered to attack into the same place, none of the attacks succeed. This is a "standoff" situation, and no other units may retreat into that place. If the place is already occupied by a third, equal force or military unit with orders to besiege, transport or support, it may carry out its orders but a weaker force may not. It does not get retreated, but it must execute a Hold order instead. This hold is a "forced" one as in the case of an assassination, i.e. a hold which cannot put down a rebellion.

If two equal forces try to swap their locations, the attacks fail, unless made via different routes.


13.4 No Conflicts

13.4.1 Synchronous Operations

If a force is ordered to attack into an area which another force is leaving at the same time, either by attacking elsewhere or converting into a city, the attack may be carried out.

Example 3 (the counters and map extracts in the following examples conform to another scenario, but that is nonessential): There is a Milanese army (M) in Tyrolea, a French army (R) in Como and a Genoese army (G) in Turin. M is ordered to advance into Como, R into Turin and G into Tyrolea. All the advances may be carried out.

Now suppose that there is an Austrian garrison (A) in Tyrolea, which supports G there, and M tries to support R into Turin. In this case there is a conflict; G and R may advance and M is forced to retreat (possibly it retreats into Como).


13.4.2 Conflicts between Your Own Units

The military units of a Major Power may not get involved in mutual conflicts. They may neither attack nor support attacks against each other. If they try to do this, they must execute Hold orders instead. However, a hostile force, which is advancing or converting into the conflict area and is not stronger than each of the conflicting friendly forces, must also hold (these holds are "forced", i.e. they cannot put down a rebellion). This situation is examined at the very beginning of the Action Phase, before any conflicts are resolved and any military orders changed into Hold orders.

Example 4 There is a Florentian garrison in Modena (F), a Milanese army in Parma (M), a Papal army in Bologna (P), an Austrian army in Verona (A) and Venetian armies in Mantua (VM) and Ferrara (VF).

F is ordered to convert. VM is ordered to advance into Modena. Both M and A are ordered to advance into Mantua. VF supports M into Mantua. The Venetian player supposes that P supports Venice into Modena, but the Pope supports Austria into Mantua. The result is a standoff; neither Milan nor Austria gets into Mantua, since the attack lead by Milan and the attack lead by Austria are equally strong. The Support order given to VF is not changed into a Hold order (the basic reason for this rule is the idea that friendly forces rather help than harm each other. In this case VF helps VM to stay in place).

Anyway, it is legal to give conflicting military orders, because the outcome is checked only in the Action Phase, and some of the units may have ceased to exist, due to bribery.

A fleet unit may transport an army unit regardless of whose military unit that army unit is attacking (the target is not noted in the Transport order).


13.5 Retreats

A military unit is forced to retreat when attacked by a superior force, unless it at the same time advances elsewhere or converts into a city. The retreat may only be made into an unoccupied place, into which no force tried to attack during the season. A unit may not retreat into the area from which the attack came.

The retreat is carried out as one advance without using transport, or a conversion into a garrison, if the unit could convert into a city and no other place is available for retreat. An independent unit may retreat only by converting.

If no place of retreat is available, the unit is eliminated and removed from play.

The judge carries out the retreats in phase H.2, trying to avoid unit eliminations in conflicting retreats. If some retreating units would unavoidably clash, if not converted into garrisons, they are converted where ever possible, after which the situation is examined again. If some units still clash unavoidably, they are eliminated.

If there are several possible areas for retreat, the judge chooses between them by the Area Preference List in the Game Tables. However, if the retreat would be made through the straits of Bonifacio or Messina or between Elba and mainland Piombino, these routes are the least preferred. If there are no other routes for retreat, the judge denies the permission, if the controlling player was the attacker, and otherwise grants the permission.

If a garrison unit is converting into an army or a fleet unit and a superior force is succesfully attacking the same province, the garrison will convert, but would then have to immediately retreat. The retreat could be made into the city again, but only if it is the only available place for retreat.

Example 5: There is a Florentine garrison (F) and a Venetian army (V) in Mantua, a Genoese army (G) in Parma, a Milanese army (M) in Cremona, an Austrian army (A) in Verona, a Turkish army (T) in Ferrara, a Papal army (P) in Bologna, and a French army (R) in Modena.

F tries to convert with M supporting. P tries to advance into Mantua with A and T supporting. V tries to advance into Cremona. The Genoese player has promised to give support to Cremona in favour of V, but betrays V and does nothing. F will convert, forcing V to retreat into Brescia, but then F itself has to retreat out of the way of P. There are no provinces available to retreat, and F converts back into garrison.

F was able to force V to retreat, because M could give support in spite of V:s attack - it came from the place the support was directed to.

If the Genoese player does indeed support V into Cremona, V may advance there, forcing M to retreat. F converts again into an army - because V went away - and retreats into Brescia.

If V tries to hold with G supporting, F may convert again, because P is still superior to V, forcing V to retreat. Results are the same as in the first case.

If F tries to convert with M and R supporting, and V tries to hold, nothing happens, because the conflict between F and P is a standoff, allowing the weaker V to stay.

The military order given to a retreating military unit is cancelled, which means it isn't put into effect, even momentarily. As a consequence, other military units may be able to carry out operations, which otherwise would have failed.

Example 6. There is a Milanese army (M) in Parma, a Papal army (P) in Bologna, a Venetian army (V) in Mantua and a Florentine army (F) in Florence. M and P are ordered to advance into Modena. V is ordered to advance into Bologna with F supporting. The situation would be a standoff without F, but now V advances into Bologna, forcing P to retreat, and M may advance into Modena.

Suppose also a Neapolitan army (N) in Pisa, a French fleet (R) at Ligurian Sea and a Turkish fleet (T) at Western Tyrrhenian Sea. N tries to advance into Florence and T into Pisa with R supporting. Now N is forced to retreat and thus cannot disturb F giving support. Again V may advance into Bologna, M into Modena, and moreover T advances into Pisa.

But if we suppose also a Genoese fleet (G) with orders to advance onto Ligurian Sea, nothing happens on the mapboard, because G cuts the support given by R, and now N can also cut the support given by F.


13.6 Complicated Conflicts

Due to recursiveness, cyclical conflicts are difficult to get resolved, especially if a) the conflict is not totally symmetrical, b) there are both advancing and supporting units participating, and c) some of them are outside the "ring". We decide that in the special case where there is even number of forces in a ring, which is only partially symmetrical, so that every other force is equal and identical with each other but unequal with the immediately adjacent forces, the conflict is not a standoff (the more general case being a ring where every n:th force is identical, but enough of that).

Other asymmetrical conflicts may be resolved by examining iteratively, which supports can certainly be given or are certainly cut off. A conflict may be a standoff although it is asymmetrical.

A totally symmetrical conflict is a standoff for all participants, if they really get into conflict with each other.

Example 7: There is a Genoese army (G) in Modena, an Austrian army (A) in Mantua, a Venetian army (V) in Verona, a Papal army (P) in Ferrara, a Florentine army (F) in Bologna, and a French army (R) in Lucca.

G is ordered to advance into Mantua, V into Ferrara, P into Bologna and R into Modena. V is supported by A, and R by F. Because the attacks against Ferrara and Modena are stronger than the attacks against Mantua and Bologna, R and V may advance, forcing G and P to retreat.

If G itself is not trying to advance into Mantua but supports a Milanese army (M) in Parma into Mantua, this support is cut off, but so is the support given by A. In fact all the supports are cut off, and nothing happens on the mapboard.

Also nothing happens, if R is ordered to advance into Modena with the support of F, M into Mantua with the support of G, and P into Bologna with the support of A (and V does not participate). In this totally symmetrical situation all supports are cut off.

If the conflict is so complicated that it cannot be resolved even along these guidelines, the wisest thing to do is to judge the situation as a standoff. The writer of these rulers has yet tostumble upon a conflict this kinky. Anyway, in real games the conflicts are generally simpler than in the preceding examples.


14 Special Mapboard Features and Rules

14.1 The Island of Venice

The island of Venice (not the city) and the surrounding greenish lagoon make together the province of Venice. The lagoon is not a sea area; there are no separate land and sea areas in that province. For gaming purposes, it is an ordinary coastal province, save that there is no place for an army unit in that province and it cannot be in rebellion or taxed by force.

A control marker may be put in the province. It produces an income of 1 d just as any other province. Plague or famine in Venice afflicts the province, too.

Padua is a coastal province, too (that is, a fleet unit on the lagoon may advance to Padua and vice versa).


14.2 Comtat Venaissin (Avignon)

The city and province of Avignon do not produce tax income, and it is not possible to raise an army unit there. Forced taxation is possible.


14.3 The High Seas

There is an extra sea area, the High Seas ("Altomare"), which is connected to every other sea area. There may be an unlimited number of fleet units - both friendly and hostile - in this sea area, which may not be a target area in a conflict (in those times, naval battles were mainly fought in the vicinity of coasts). Those fleet units may execute military orders (hold, advance, transport and support). Several fleet units may give support into the same sea area from the High Seas.

No one controls the High Seas, ever. Bribes may neither be directed at fleet units there, nor given from there.

Two equally strong naval forces trying to swap their locations between the High Seas and another sea area must stay in place. If the force in the High Seas is a weaker one, it must stay in place (rather than retreat) and the stronger one may advance. The opposing major powers in these conflicts have not been at peace with each other during the Campaign Season.

All fleet units on the High Seas are destroyed at the beginning of the Spring Season.

When raising new military units, Turkey may raise one fleet unit onto the High Seas, too. This simulates the hefty naval resources Turkey has at her disposal out of the boundaries of the game map.


14.4 The Straits

The straits of Bonifacio and Messina: a fleet unit may directly advance from Ajaccio to Sardinia, or Messina to Calabria, or vice versa. The provinces facing each other across those straits are also considered to be adjacent for the purposes of bribing and reaping the benefits of peace.

Piombino: movement between Piombino and Western Tyrrhenian see is allowed, since this province includes the island of Elba. An army unit may be transported to or from Piombino by a fleet unit, which is either at the Eastern or at the Western Tyrrhenian Sea.

Moreover, although the straits between Elba and mainland are part of the Eastern Tyrrhenian Sea, a fleet unit which controls Piombino at the beginning of the Action Phase and executes or tries to execute a Hold order, controls also the straits. This control means that the fleet prohibits movement, support and transportation through the straits (in fact, into Pisa and out of Pisa; this strait has no other use) by default. The owner of the fleet which controls the straits may however grant her permission to carry out these operations. The permission should be announced to the judge with operation orders and the player(s) identified.

A fleet unit in Messina controls the straits of Messina in the same way. Only the fleet units in Piombino and Messina may control any straits.

A fleet unit in Calabria at the beginning of a Campaign is thought to be anywhere along the coastline of Calabria, but cannot still transport an army through the straits of Messina in case Messina is controlled by a hostile fleet, unless granted a permission by the owner of that fleet unit.


A Renaissance War Galley
(by Tony Bryan)

15 Excommunication

In Phase B.5 or E.2 the Papal player may direct one Excommunication Order at another player, once for each during the game (directed at the Turkish player, the order is called a Crusade Order). An excommunicated player may neither receive ducats from other players nor give ducats to them - payments, loans, donations etc - when ducats might be transferred for the first time after the judge has publicly announced the excommunication. This announcement is made in phase B.2 or D.

If the Papal player is eliminated from the game, the validity of a given Excommunication Order expires.


16 Independent Units

In Phase H.3.2 a new independent garrison springs up in each fortified, unoccupied city which is
  • not controlled by any player, and
  • not rebelling against the independent power, and
  • in a province unoccupied by an independent military unit
Typically, a rebellion may bring forth a new independent garrison (which liberates the rebellion immediately).

An independent military unit may also be created by bribery. This includes armies and fleets. The area where the unit has come into being as an independent one is called its native area. If it is a sea area, the unit is said to be a pirate. Independent military units establish independent control.

An independent army or fleet unit cannot leave its native area. If it is forced to retreat and it cannot convert into a garrison unit, it is disbanded and removed from the game.

There may not exist more than one independent unit for each native area at a time. This may restrict a bribery attempt; no ducats are expended if this restriction is in effect but the bribing is attempted anyway.

An independent military unit maintains itself automatically in phase B.5. It executes a Hold order in the Action Phase with the following exceptions:

1. An independent garrison unit acts like a rebellion unit in one - and only one - respect: it gives support in the same way as a rebellion unit does, if there is a hostile military unit in the province; but it does neither prevent a hostile unit giving support from the province nor retreating into the province.

2. An independent garrison unit tries to convert into a province, which is rebelling against the independent power, and execute a Hold order in the next Campaign Season, to put down the rebellion.

3. An independent army or fleet unit tries to get garrisoned if possible in the Action Phase (after putting down a possible rebellion).

4. An independent army unit may also be bribed to execute a Support or Hold order, an independent fleet unit to execute a Support, Hold or Transport order and an independent, non-besieged garrison unit a Hold order. These orders are executed in the way a committed unit does, although an independent military unit may not advance into any other area. The minimum price of these bribes is 3 ducats. See Chapter 11 about bribes. Counter-bribes are possible, too.

An independent unit may also be bribed to grant a permission to bribe another enemy unit which is directly adjacent to the independent unit.

An independent unit becomes capable of operating in the Campaign it comes into being. An independent unit may be supported in its military operations.


17 Random Events

These events are determined by dice rolling. One 12-sided (with the numbers 1-12) and one six-sided dice (with the numbers 1-6) are required. It would be a good idea to obtain not one but three six-sided dice with different colors.

17.1. Natural disasters

17.1.1 Famine

The effects of famine are like in the standard game, except that famine does not take the control away but puts down a rebellion (after which the province is independent, since rebellion takes the control away). Also the procedure for determining the famine-stricken provinces is different: roll a 1d12 - that is, one 12-sided dice - for the number of provinces where famine strikes. Roll that number of times a 3d6 - that is, three six-sided dice, or one six-sided dice thrice - to determine the provinces. Consult the Famine Table in the Game Tables.

Should famine strike into three provinces controlled by the same major power, with or without Abundance markers, roll again. Give a third try, if necessary. If that didn't help, the curse is considered to be dispelled. Stop rolling.

Famine may strike more than once into the same province in the same Spring season. This doesn't have any extra effect in the province (hence - to be exact - the d12 doesn't determine the number of provinces but the number of famine occurrences). Also the cost of famine relief doesn't get any higher in multiple famines.

Tax income is affected by famine in the standard way, but trade income is not. A famine-stricken province may not be taxed by force.


17.1.2 Plague

The effects of plague are like in the standard game, except that plague does not take the control away but puts down a rebellion, and a plague-stricken province stays pestered by plague up to the end of the Summer Campaign Season . There are markers for pointing out these provinces. Also the procedure for determining the plague-stricken provinces is different. It goes like the famine procedure above, with a 1d12 and a 3d6. Consult the Plague Table in the Game Tables.

The outcome of each dice roll is put into effect immediately. No major power would lose more than one military unit in the Plague Phase (Phase C). Should plague annihilate both a garrison unit and another military unit of the same major power in the same province, the other military unit survives. If plague has annihilated one military unit of a major power and it should annihilate another unit of that major power in another province, roll one or two more times as in the Famine procedure. Any restrictions of this kind are not in effect in Phase H.3.3.


17.1.3 Storm

A 1d6 is rolled to determine the number of stormy sea areas, one of them always being the High Seas. The fleet units in the High Seas are always destroyed, even if randomness is excluded from the game.

The identity of the other stormy sea areas is then determined by rolling a 1d12 for each storm. Consult the Sea Area Table. Should at least two fleet units of the same major power get into a storm outside the High Seas, roll again, and even a third time, if necessary. If that didn't help, stop rolling the dice.

Next, a 1d6 is rolled for each fleet unit in the grips of each storm to determine the effects. Consult the Storm Table.

There may occur several storms for a certain sea area, in which case the results are determined for each fleet unit in each storm. The worst outcomes are carried out. Any retreats are carried out simultaneously. Consult the Area Preference List in the Game Tables.


17.2. The Renegades

One area is determined with a 3d6 and in case it is unoccupied by an independent military unit but occupied by a committed military unit, the latter is changed into an independent one. Consult the Renegade Table in the Game Tables (in that table there are rows for the sea areas, too, but no rows for the major cities).

In case of two committed units, the unit which becomes independent is the Garrison unit.


18 Gaming Discipline

18.1. Writing Orders

Orders already sent to the judge may be corrected once before the deadline. Ducat transfer orders between players may however not be withdrawn.

The orders should be written clearly and unambiguosly. Otherwise, no rigid notation is required. Suitable abbreviations could be used. If neither standard nor self-explanatory, they should be explained to the judge when using them the first time. The judge should be able to interpret the orders without any guessing. The judge is by no means obliged to send inquiries to the players about some illegible gibberish they have scribbled.

Finnish players may use this Word document for giving their orders for Phase B (Military Unit Adjustment and Income Phase)and this Word document for giving their orders for Phase E (Order Writing Phase).

Example 8: Orders may be given in the following straightforward way (which is familiar to the judge without clarifications): suppose for example, that the Papal player has a treasury of 10 ducats, armies in Perugia and Urbino, a fleet in Ancona and a garrison in Rome. There is also an independent garrison unit in Sienna.

The Papal player may write:

Ducat expenditures:
1. Buying the Sienese garrison for 9 ducats.
2. Hiring a bodyguard for 3 ducats.

Military orders:
Armies: Urbino --> Arezzo, Perugia supp. Arezzo.
Fleets: Ancona --> Adr. Sup.
Garrisons: both conv.

This means that the army in Urbino is ordered to advance into Arezzo, supported by the army in Perugia (supposedly because of the Florentian army in Arezzo). The fleet in Ancona is ordered to advance onto Adriatico Superiore (as the Upper Adriatic is named on the current gameboard) and the garrisons in Rome and Sienna are ordered to convert into armies. It goes without saying that they are converted into armies, since neither city has a port.

Suppose further that no other player is giving any ducats to the Papal player, who possibly thinks that the Sienese garrison is to be bribed before the bodyguard is hired; but that would be against the rules, so the judge hires the bodyguard for the Pope and charges the Papal treasury for three ducats. Now there are only 7 ducats left; the garrison is not bribed and those 7 ducats remain in the Papal treasury.

In this situation the judge interprets the conversion order for "both" garrisons that the Roman garrison is converted. Ambiguous phrases should be avoided; this case is however considered clear, because the judge will neither accept nor assume any conditional orders, for example, "my garrison in Rome will convert only if I get ducats enough for bribing the Sienese garrison".

Example 9: If players so wish, even more inaccurate orders might also be accepted and even more liberty granted to the judge in interpretation of the orders. This could lead to the following decisions, for example: suppose the same situation on the mapboard as in the previous example. Again, the papal player has 10 ducats in her treasury. She has asked other players to give her 2 ducats, and now she orders a bribe of 12 ducats, directed at the Sienese garrison to be converted into one of her own garrisons (the minimum amount is 9 ducats, but she is afraid of counter-bribes). She doesn't get the extra 2 ducats, but since the amount of any bribe is a multiple of 3 ducats, only the largest multiple which could be taken from the papal treasury is used, hence the result is the same as above: only 9 ducats are expended and one ducat is left in her treasury. The result would be the same, if the papal player had ordered the Sienese garrison to be bribed with "all" of her ducats.

Discussion. Admittedly, a lot could be said against the somewhat lenient approach described in the previous examples. Of course, the best thing to do would be to accept only executable, accurate and correct orders, rejecting all ambiguity - for example, orders with attributions like "both", "all" etc. Anyway, there should be an explicit and full consensus upon these principles, whichever they may be in each game. Perhaps the players want the judge to ignore all orders which cannot be carried out exactly as they have been written;perhaps they want some tolerance to be practiced with neophytes. The game should be fun, after all.


18.2 Ignoring Deadlines

If a player does not send any orders to the judge by deadline, the judge executes default orders as described in the previous chapters. In case of unexpected and insurmountable obstacles a player may however send a short e-mail to the judge, telling a later deadline by which the orders are to be sent. Probably the judge will react to this with some patience.


18.3 Mistakes made by the Judge

It is possible - in theory at least - that the judge makes a mistake, which is beneficial to some players at the expense of other players. If the mistake is noticed only by those who got the benefit, they would act chivalrously by informing the judge about the mistake, but of course there is no way to force them into that.

The judge cannot be expected to correct a judging mistake after which the mapboard has been updated at least twice.

Practice has proven that players may come to terms even in the most controversial situations in the game. If this turns out to be impossible, there is a judge to make decisions. The judge may not possibly know the rules (!) in which case she probably consults the players.


18.4 Electronic Mail

All letters to the judge should be posted to the address(es) which she has announced to the players before the game is started.

It would be a good idea to establish a mailbox for each of the players, using historically appropriate role names. This is quite easy in Hotmail, for example. The players may want to make all these e-mail addresses known in public. A hint: when declaring them on some web pages, they should be presented in a form which the web crawlers do not recognize, thus reducing the risk of junk mail.

The players may also want to send some letters to each other incognito. This is made possible by establishing an extra, "generic" mailbox which all players share. This mailbox is also useful when using public dice servers in the web for the random events. Often the roll requests to the dice servers may be configured to return the results to two addresses simultaneously, which could be this generic mailbox and the address of the judge.

E-mail, which is simultaneously sent both to the judge and some other players, may deal only with issues pertaining to game mechanics or practical arrangements. The judge ignores all orders but those which have been sent solely to her.

When negotiating by e-mail, the letters should not be redirected using the redirection mechanism of the mailing system (unless two players are negotiating with each other or debating publicly, citing their previous letters). If a player wants to cite a letter to a third party, she should do this by copying the selected text into the body part and deleting all identifying headers. In other words, a player should not try to prove to a third party what another player has written, using tools not belonging into the simulated gaming world. Also the e-mail addresses should not be tampered with.


18.5 Game and Reality

All cheating, bribing, insulting etc. should be limited within the game. Any blood-shedding should be imaginary only - for example, when signing agreements "in blood". When negotiating, gamers should address each other by role names only. It is reprehensible to bribe another player with real money or make allusions to the expected career development of a subordinate. However, the Judge cannot be required to look after the behaviour of players.

The game is a hobby for leisure time. Working hours should be pacified from gaming.


19 Practical Arrangements

19.1 Articles, Letters and Notes

The judge keeps up a noteboard in the web pages, which should be examined regularly.

Operations and other happenings in the game are published in an "official newspaper", where the judge publishes also articles sent by players, included with the military orders or separately. An article may be signed by a pseudonym or by the proper role name of the player. Pictures in .jpg, .gif or .png format may be attached with the articles.

The judge does not assume any responsibility for the contents of letters and does not modify them, except in the usual editorial manner. The judge does not practice any partial censorship, but she may refuse publishing a blatantly obscene article, or an article which contains derogatory comments about real players or other real-life subjects - in short: which is unsuitable for the publicity in the web.


19.2 A Recommended Schedule

Orders should be sent to the judge once in a week. In case a somewhat quicker but still manageable game is preferred, orders for Phase E could be sent to the judge in every week and orders for Phase B in another day of the week.


19.3 Leaving the Game

If a player has to leave the game before it is finished, for a fixed period or for good, it would be a good idea to appoint a substitute leader. Of course, the new leader cannot be a leader of another major power which still is in the game, but rather a player who has already been eliminated from it.

If a substitute leader cannot be found, the player is thought to have been eliminated from the game, see Chapter 4.3.